oh, the PLACES you’ll go! and other advice on the future as given by Dr. Seuss //
***This may seem like a break from my blog series, but I promise you, it ties in.
Patience, Presence, Plans, and step four: Places.
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!”
Thus spoke the ever so wise Dr. Seuss in his graduation speech, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”
If you’ve read any of my recent blogs, you’ll know I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on the idea of patience and the future (Patience, Presence, Plans). The very idea of the “future” sometimes seems so unattainable—you can’t put your hands on it, you can’t know exactly what’s going to happen, and really you don’t have any idea where you’re going. It’s like setting out on a spontaneous road trip. Sure, you can lay out a plan to follow with all the necessary directions, but your GPS is just going to end up “recalculating” anyway.
But Meagan, you say, doesn’t this mean we should just sit around and wait for “good things” and “good opportunities” to throw themselves in our laps?
Not exactly. Yes, I believe that God closes some doors and opens others, but only when we are ready for them to be opened. We have to do our part as well. We have to consciously work towards the goals that we set and when He feels we are ready, I believe that our “doors” will appear before us, ready to be opened (see my previous blog PLANS for a deeper discussion on how the Bible says we should avoid idleness).
Recently, I discovered I have been steadily losing my motivation—my “drive,” if you will—and since that discovery, I have been working really hard to get that back. Today I was in desperate need of some inspiration, and so I picked up my favorite children’s book, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” And I am so glad that I did.
Sometimes I think all you need is Jesus and a bit of Seuss to survive.
I was immediately greeted by 56 pages on how to deal with life. Dr. Seuss gives me hope that even though there will be ups and downs in this “Great Balancing Act” we call life, it will all work out in the end. I believe that there is a little something for everyone in the life stories he tells. That being said, here are the 10 greatest life lessons I believe we can learn from Dr. Seuss. Take what you will 🙂
- It’s up to YOU!
As Dr. Seuss says, “Today is YOUR day!” It’s you who gets to decides what to do and where to go for yourself. You decide how to live your life. No other human gets to make that decision for you. How awesome is that?!
- “And When things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew!”
Okay, this is definitely directed at me. I admit I am the worrying kind.
But Dr. Seuss gives us a simple solution: “Just go right along, You’ll start happening too!” I guess I never thought of it that way before…just as the path of life changes and evolves, so too do we individually! Sure, new things will happen outside of your control, but things will also start happening within you such that you’ll be ready for anything!
- “Except when you don’t,
Because, sometimes, you won’t.”
There it is, the harsh reality of life—sometimes, you won’t! Sometimes life will throw you curveballs. Sometimes you will fail. Sometimes “bang-ups and hang-ups” will happen to you! BUT FEAR NOT! Everyone experiences trials and troubles in this life. You will overcome!
- “Simple, it’s not, I’m afraid you will find, for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.”
PREACH! I think we all know this one from experience. Whether it be the decision of which college to attend, which major to pursue or which career path to follow, it always seems like each “difficult” life question is followed by an equally impossible question. Note that this is the only thing Dr. Seuss directly acknowledges is not simple—decision-making. He feels our pain! I think its important to remember that our day-to-day decisions are just a part of life—yes, they can be stressful, but they are not the end of the world! If it causes you worry, it’s causing you to sin. That’s something I constantly try to remind myself of. We can’t allow the idea of impending decisions to weigh us down!
- “There is fun to be done!”
I think that sometimes we are so caught up in trying to get where we’re going that we forget to enjoy where we are. It’s important to pause sometimes and just live in the moment, enjoying where you are in life and, of course, how you got there. Also, Life is supposed to be FUN! Yes, there will be low moments, but there will be so many enjoyable ones as well; we just have to remember to live fully in the present and to not dwell on the things over which we have no control. Stay optimistic. Dr. Seuss does a wonderful job of acknowledging and admiring the simple-ness of life (the bare necessities, if you will), and I think that is just a wonderful precedent that we all should strive to follow.
- “Alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot.”
Well, this is a downer. No one likes to be alone. As an extremely extraverted person, I definitely do not like feeling alone. Dr. Seuss points out here that there are many times in life where we will feel like we are completely alone. But I think it’s important to focus more so on that even though you may feel like you are all alone in your situation, you have to remember that if you are in Christ, you are never really alone!
- “BUT ON YOU WILL GO”
This is the best part. We’ve been through struggles, we’ve been making hard decisions, we’ve been “alone,” but now we are over-coming! But on we will go, rising up from our struggles, just a little bit stronger because of them, prepared and ready to face the next battle. How triumphant!! (gives me chills every time)
- “Remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act”
This is a super important one, because not only is life a great balance in how there are many up’s and many down’s, but in how you manage your time. What you spend time doing is just as important as how long you spend doing it!
- “And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed)
Hahaha I love this one. It’s a nice reassuring pat on the back after all of these not-so-happy reminders 🙂 Yes! You WILL succeed! Say it with me, Yes, I WILL Succeed! Whatever you define success as, you can obtain it. You will reach your goals; you will move your mountains; you can and you will. I love this, it’s so empowering!
- “Kid, you’ll move MOUNTAINS!”
“Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!”
What a great final lesson to summarize the essence of Dr. Seuss’ teachings. It’s your life; your decisions to make, your chances to take, your fears to overcome, your struggles to persevere…and its time Now! No time to waste. Your future is out there for the taking. So, what are You going to do?!
How exciting is that? There is a future out there, for each and every one of us, and its our turn now to go out and get it! If that isn’t enough encouragement to get through the day, I don’t know what is. So as you sit in class, or the office, or your house tomorrow, contemplating life and the future, just remember to yourself: OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!